Jaguar to go electric in 2020 and reveals the E-Type Zero

  • Jaguar Classics is offering to replace the petrol engine in classic E-Types with electric powertrains
  • Each Back to the Future E-Type will cost £350,000 and used a powerful electric motor and plug-in battery
  • It will have a top speed 150mph and a ‘real world’ range of about 170 miles – a battery charge takes 7 hours
  • As well as looking back with electric technology, Jaguar also showcased the 2040 FUTURE-TYPE concept
  • Every Jagual Land Rover model in the range will be available with an electric or hybrid version by 2020

Jaguar is accelerating back to the future with a fully electric version of its legendary E-Type sports car as it sets out its ‘green’ plans to electrify every new model in its range from 2020.

The British car firm has taken a 1968 version of its elegant roadster dubbed ‘the world’s most beautiful car’ and given it an automotive heart transplant – removing its powerful petrol engine and replacing it with a zero emissions electric motor and plug-in battery.

But although it is 80kg lighter and faster than the original, the battery-powered leaping-cat loses its traditional roar. Is it superb or sacrilege? You decide.

Future Jaguar buyers will get the chance to buy into some form of electrification, however, as the car maker also said all its new cars from 2020 will be offered with either a hybrid or pure electric version of each model.

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Superb or sacrilege? Our man Ray Massey was one of the first to try the £350,000 electric E-Type Zero. What are your thoughts on taking a flat-six petrol engine from an original E-Type and replacing it with electric power?

Superb or sacrilege? Our man Ray Massey was one of the first to try the £350,000 electric E-Type Zero. What are your thoughts on taking a flat-six petrol engine from an original E-Type and replacing it with electric power?

As the first of a select group of journalists to experience the electric E-Type first hand as a passenger, I can tell you the effect of the powerplant switch-over is exhilarating but rather weird, as the revamped soft-top classic runs eerily in almost total silence, save for a faint hiss reminiscent of a milk float or golf buggy.

The electric E-Type Zero is one of three cars that Jaguar is showcasing at its special ‘Tech Fest’ event in London as bosses pledges that by 2020 all of its new cars will have an electric component – ranging from electric-hybrid to fully electric. 

It also showed a film of how a ‘FUTURE-TYPE’ electric semi-autonomous Jaguar could look in 2040 – with a personal ‘smart’ steering wheel you keep with you when changing cars – as well as highlighting its new I-PACE electric car on sale from next year.

The car giant said it wanted to show its commitment to electrification ‘with new electric models from Jaguar’s past, present and future.’

The re-born E-Type Zero is brain-child of Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic division in Warwickshire – close to where the original E-Type was born in Coventry in 1961 – and is designed for motorists who want to drive their classic cars when politicians ban all but electric vehicles from the road.

Converting the classic E-Type means owners can ‘future proof’ their classic cars, says Jaguar after the UK Government said it will outlaw ’conventional’ diesel and petrol engines from 2040, with the Scottish Government saying it will do so eight years earlier in 2032. 

Jaguar said all of its cars will be electrified by 2020. To show its commitment to electric power, the British brand is showcasing three zero-emissions cars at an event in London. There's one from the past, present and future - from left to right: 1968 E-Type Zero (past),  2018 I-Pace (present), 2040 FUTURE-TYPE (right)

Jaguar said all of its cars will be electrified by 2020. To show its commitment to electric power, the British brand is showcasing three zero-emissions cars at an event in London. There’s one from the past, present and future – from left to right: 1968 E-Type Zero (past),  2018 I-Pace (present), 2040 FUTURE-TYPE (right)

Jaguar Classics have stripped this 1968 E-Type of its roaring straight-six engine and slotted an electric motor and battery into the engine bay

Jaguar Classics have stripped this 1968 E-Type of its roaring straight-six engine and slotted an electric motor and battery into the engine bay

The E-Type Zero is 80kg lighter than the car was with the traditional powerplant

The E-Type Zero is 80kg lighter than the car was with the traditional powerplant

Will it fit in my garage?

New electric E-Type Zero

Price of electric car: £350,000 Based around: 1968 E-Type Jaguar Series 1.5 Roadster 

Price of base car today as collector’s item: circa £70,000 to £280,000 depending on condition 

Original price of the early E-Types: from £2,098 in the 1960s

Seats: 2

Doors: 2

Length: 4458mm (175.5 inches) Width: 1653mm (65.1 inches) Height: 1270mm (50 inches)

Original engine: 4.2litre ‘Straight 6’ cylinder petrol 

New electric powertrain and battery. Power: 220kW (around 300bhp)

Gears: One continuous forward ‘drive’, plus reverse. 

Real world range: About 170 miles (270km) 

Top-speed: 150mph-plus

0-62mph: 5.5 seconds (about one second quicker than a Series 1 E-type)

Battery: 40kWh lithium ion battery can be recharged from home overnight

Charging time: six to seven hours, depending on power source)

 

According to the Jaguar Classic team, the original engine can even, if required, be substituted back into the car.

With the zero-emissions powertrain in place, it will accelerate from rest to 62mph in 5.5 seconds – about a second faster than the petrol version – with a top speed of 150mph and a ‘real world’ range of about 170 miles, though that could increase to just over 200 miles.

It can be fully charged at home overnight in six to seven hours with the fuel cap flap opening to reveal the electric charging point.

The original dashboard has been replaced with hi-tech carbon-fibre and the classic instruments given a digital revamp with hi-tech virtual dials showing road speed and engine speed. 

However, all the other basic underpinnings, including brakes and suspension, and are the same to ensure the car still drives and handles like the ‘original’ E-Type.

The main catch – other than the fact it doesn’t have a six-cylinder engine under the bonnet – is that the electric E-Type car will set you back around £350,000. 

Jaguar say one of their own restored ‘Reborn’ range – where they take an original car and update it with modern components – costs £280,000 – £70,000 less than an electrified one. 

Classic E-Types can cost from around £70,000, depending on condition. 

Jaguar says that £350,000 price tag could drop if more orders are received.

The E-Type Zero is just one of the features at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest taking place at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London, which is open to the public from September 8 to 10. 

Tim Hannig, director, Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: ‘E-Type Zero combines the renowned E-Type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification. This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation.

The E-Type Zero will accelerate from rest to 62mph in 5.5 seconds ¿ about a second faster than the petrol version ¿ with a top speed of 150mph

The E-Type Zero will accelerate from rest to 62mph in 5.5 seconds – about a second faster than the petrol version – with a top speed of 150mph

The interior has been brought from the past to the present too, with a carbon fibre dashboard, futuristic dials and the rotor dial to select reverse, drive and park replacing the manual gear shift

The interior has been brought from the past to the present too, with a carbon fibre dashboard, futuristic dials and the rotor dial to select reverse, drive and park replacing the manual gear shift

Jaguar says the E-Type Zero will help owners of classic cars future-proof their vehicles so they can drive them in a future where conventional petrol and diesel engines are banned

Jaguar says the E-Type Zero will help owners of classic cars future-proof their vehicles so they can drive them in a future where conventional petrol and diesel engines are banned

‘Our aim with E-Type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership.’

He added: ‘The Jaguar E-Type Zero not only drives and looks like an E-type, it also offers outstanding performance. It’s quicker than an original E-Type: 0-62mph takes only 5.5 seconds, about one second quicker than a Series 1 E-Type.’

Jaguar said the restored Series 1.5 Roadster is’ totally original in specification, apart from its 21st century state-of-the-art powertrain and modified instrumentation and fascia,’ though even these are inspired by the original E-Type. It also has LED headlights to save energy.

Ray Massey experience the E-Type Zero first hand, which has a ¿real world¿ range of about 170 miles, though that could increase to just over 200 miles

Ray Massey experience the E-Type Zero first hand, which has a ‘real world’ range of about 170 miles, though that could increase to just over 200 miles

Converting an original E-Type like this into an electric powered car will cost £350,000, though Jaguar says the price could fall if more people request the service

Converting an original E-Type like this into an electric powered car will cost £350,000, though Jaguar says the price could fall if more people request the service

The plug-in port to charge the car is clverely hidden where the fuel cap once was

The plug-in port to charge the car is clverely hidden where the fuel cap once was

The electric E-Type Zero’s lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions and similar weight as the original XK six-cylinder petrol engine and sits in precisely the same place. The 220kW motor lies just behind the battery pack, in the same location as the E-type’s gearbox.

Mr Hannig said: ‘It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type.

‘We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point. We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA.’

All the other basic underpinnings, including brakes and suspension, and are the same to ensure the car still drives and handles like the ¿original¿ E-Type

All the other basic underpinnings, including brakes and suspension, and are the same to ensure the car still drives and handles like the ‘original’ E-Type

The batteries powering the potent electric motor can be fully charged at home overnight in six to seven hours

The batteries powering the potent electric motor can be fully charged at home overnight in six to seven hours

The E-Type Zero is just one of the features at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest taking place at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London, which is open to the public from September 8 to 10

The E-Type Zero is just one of the features at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest taking place at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London, which is open to the public from September 8 to 10

The E-Type’s original XK six-cylinder engine was made from 1949 until 1992, and was fitted to nearly all iconic Jaguar models of that period, including the E-type, XK120, Mk2 and XJ6. Tim Hannig said: ‘The new electric powertrain could be used in any of these vehicles.’

Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer Dr Ralf Speth added: ‘Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. 

‘We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.’

Greenpeace UK’s clean air campaigner Anna Jones responded to the news saying: ‘After a similar announcement from Volvo, it’s good to see another major car maker stepping up a gear in their efforts to embrace electric and hybrid technology. 

‘As UK sales of diesel cars plummet and those of electric and hybrid models keep rising, this is a move that makes both business and environmental sense. 

‘It’s now time for other leading car manufacturers to realise that toxic diesel has no future and start switching to genuinely clean models that can help tackle the air pollution crisis blighting our cities.’

Looking into the future, Jaguar has also put the FUTURE-CONCEPT on display as a hint to what its cars might look like in 2040

Looking into the future, Jaguar has also put the FUTURE-CONCEPT on display as a hint to what its cars might look like in 2040

The car has an innovative narrow-body with a ¿semi-tandem¿ 2+1 seating plan to optimise urban driving and parking, with ¿face-to-face social seating' during autonomous driving

The car has an innovative narrow-body with a ‘semi-tandem’ 2+1 seating plan to optimise urban driving and parking, with ‘face-to-face social seating’ during autonomous driving

The FUTURE-TYPE concept is a glimpse of Jaguar models in 2040

As well as looking back, Jaguar offered a glimpse into the future, saying by 2040 its cars will be ‘electric, autonomous and made for sharing’.

To showcase its plans, the British manufacturer released a video of its ‘FUTURE-TYPE’ car that projects where motoring will be in nearly a quarter of a century’s time – and beyond. 

While there’s a lot of talk about driverless technology, motorists with an urge to take to the wheel will hopefully still be able to enjoy the joys the open road by over-riding the self-driving programme and doing some ‘DIY’ driving.

Even the steering wheel they use will be their own personal one which they take with them from car to car – calling up different vehicles to suit their mood, lifestyle or activity, whether work or play, says the British car-maker.

There's nothing subtle about the FUTURE-TYPE concept
Even the doors have a wonderful hinged design

Slide me

There’s nothing subtle about the FUTURE-TYPE concept. Even the doors have a wonderful hinged design

FUTURE-TYPE is Jaguar¿s crystal-ball gazing prediction of where they need to be to meet the mobility needs of future generations

FUTURE-TYPE is Jaguar’s crystal-ball gazing prediction of where they need to be to meet the mobility needs of future generations

The car itself has an innovative narrow-body with a ‘semi-tandem’ 2+1 seating plan to optimise urban driving and parking, with ‘face-to-face social seating’ during autonomous driving.

It’s Jaguar’s crystal-ball gazing prediction of where they need to be to ‘meet the mobility needs of future generations’.

A Jaguar spokesman said: ’Our FUTURE-TYPE concept is Jaguar’s vision for an on-demand autonomous vehicle. It is fully autonomous but driveable, too.

‘In a future world of on demand and shared mobility, you may only fully own the steering wheel, not the car itself.’ 

‘The FUTURE-TYPE offers either autonomous or assisted driving because you may still want to enjoy the thrill of driving yourself.’

Jaguar says its advanced technologies will make for safer driving with a human behind the wheel.

’The Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE is a fully autonomous concept that imagines mobility in a world where Jaguar customers can summon a fully-charged FUTURE-TYPE on-demand,’ the brand spokesperson claimed.

‘It offers a glimpse into the future. It is a car for a world of autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility.’

According to Jaguar, vehicle ownership will change. Instead of having a car each, we will all have a steering wheel that can beckon shared cars in moments

According to Jaguar, vehicle ownership will change. Instead of having a car each, we will all have a steering wheel that can beckon shared cars in moments

Like with the cars on show, Jaguar showed how the steering wheel has - and could - change over an 80-year period

Like with the cars on show, Jaguar showed how the steering wheel has – and could – change over an 80-year period

At the heart of the car is what Jaguar calls ‘the world’s first intelligent and connected steering wheel‘.  

Director of design Ian Callum said: ‘FUTURE-TYPE offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future. It’s part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable, in a more digital and autonomous age.

‘It is an advanced research project looking at how we can ensure an on-demand Jaguar will appeal to customers in 2040 and beyond. Whether it’s commuting to work, autonomously collecting children from school or enjoying driving yourself on the weekend in the countryside, if there’s a choice of on-demand cars driving around city streets, we need to ensure customers desire our 24/7 service over our competitors.’ 

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

 
 
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Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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